Arsenal might have conceded the top spot to Shakhtar with that shocking loss to Braga but there is the not so small matter of locking up second.
Which starts with today's match against Partizan. Braga have the same number of points but are considerably behind on goal difference. They also meet Shakhtar away which compounds that handicap. All Arsenal has to do is win. Simple you would think. Given their yo-yo season, it is reasonable to feel some trepidation. If they tie or lose then they've lost control of their CL destiny and it will be up to the Braga vs Shakhtar match.
Laurent Koscielny will start having recovered from his nose knock with Sebastien Squillaci which means that Johan Djourou the far more assured choice will have to sit it out. Arseblog draws attention to our defensive issues generating a disconnect between some of the more outspoken players and the gaffer.
So don't look for that Gary Cahill or Mamadou Sakho signing in January. Infuriating but also entirely in keeping with Wenger's philosophy. On today's match talking about the 'fear of elimination' motivating the team.
" Fear is the best way not to achieve what you want to achieve."
Maybe that is the problem. Arsenal has given a number of games away through misplaced complacency. A bit of fear is always healthy.
Robin Van Persie will probably get the nod over Marouane Chamakh who is being kept in store for the huge Man Utd showdown on Monday. There is a good chance that Fabregas and Abou Diaby will be unavailable for that match too.